Gallup's Economic Confidence Index dropped from minus 11 to minus 15, but still remains "one of the best readings of 2012," the company said Tuesday.
The index measuring confidence in current economic conditions came to minus 23 -- with 39 percent of respondents in the weekly survey indicating the economy is in "poor" shape and 16 indicating it is "excellent or good," Gallup said.
The Outlook Index, which measures sentiment on the direction the economy is headed, came in at minus seven, with 44 percent of respondents indicating the economy is getting better and 51 percent indicating it is getting worse.
The Economic Confidence Index declined across the board among political groups. The reading was 31 among Democrats, minus 62 among Republicans, and minus 20 for those without a major party affiliation, Gallup said.
The gap between evaluations for Democrats and Republicans -- 93 points -- is the third-largest ever recorded in the index. The gaps had been 94 percent and 95 percent in the two weeks leading up to the elections.
The confidence index may have been affected by concern about the so-called fiscal cliff -- the name given to a set of circumstances including the scheduled expiration of lower federal income tax rates and across-the-board federal spending cuts -- Gallup said.
The survey may also have been affected by a slump in the U.S. stock market and an increase in unemployment claims, largely due to effects of superstorm Sandy in the U.S. Northeast -- during the week in which the poll was conducted, Gallup said.
Results of the survey are based on 3,429 telephone interviews taken Nov. 5-11. The margin of error of plus was 1 percentage point.
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